The nurse reviews a handwritten order for morphine for a pediatric patient. The order is written as follows: MSO4 .25 mg IV Q8 hours. According to safe medication practices, which of the following is the correct way to write this order?


•The correct way to write this order is:  Morphine sulfate 0.25 mg IV Q8 hours.

•MSO4 is not an approved abbreviation for morphine sulfate as it can be confused with MgSO4 which is magnesium sulfate. 

•The other error is that drug dosages of amounts less than 1 should have a preceding "0" (zero) before the decimal so that the decimal point is not missed, which could cause a dose ten or even 100 times higher than intended. This mistake could lead to severe adverse consequences up to and including death. 

•Additionally, drug orders for amounts less than 1 should not have a trailing "0" (zero), as this could also lead to massive overdosing if the decimal point is missed.

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